60 Minutes for health: examining the feasibility and acceptability of a low-resource behavioral intervention designed to promote retention in HIV care
Sustained retention in HIV medical care is a key health behavior for the long-term health of people living with HIV (PLWH). Approximately 60% of PLWH in the U.S. are poorly retained in HIV care, yet to date, the few available evidence-based retention-promoting interventions are resource and time intensive to implement. The current study describes the feasibility and acceptability of a theory-based retention-promoting intervention designed to meet the needs of a busy clinical care setting. 60 Minutes for Health reflects a low-resource single-session intervention, implemented by a health educator, to PLWH who have had a recent gap in care (≥6-months) in the past 18-months. Intervention content was informed by a situated application of the Information Motivation Behavioral Skills Model and delivered using a Motivational Interviewing-based format. The intervention uses a workbook to guide a series of activities that: (1) Identify and reduce misinformation guiding HIV care attendance. (2) Enhance motivation to maintain care via personal health goals. (3) Build skills for coping with emotional distress related to living with HIV. (4) Increase self-efficacy for navigating the logistics of maintaining care amidst competing priorities. A small feasibility pilot of this intervention protocol was conducted to assess its potential to improve retention in care and to obtain estimates for a larger-scale efficacy trial. Participants were randomized to the 60-minute intervention session (n = 8), or a theory-based time-and-attention control session focused on diet and nutrition (n = 8). Medical records were abstracted to evaluate changes in participants’ retention in care status at 12- and 24-months post-intervention. Findings suggest the intervention is both feasible and acceptable to implement with poorly retained PLWH in a clinic setting. Post-intervention a larger proportion of intervention participants were retained in care (12-months: 87.5%, 24-months: 62.5%), compared control participants (12-months: 50.0%, 24-months: 25.0%). Future work should aim to evaluate a larger-scale efficacy trial.